Swedish police with new strategy - drop investigating serious crimes

Swedish police with new strategy - drop investigating serious crimes
Investigators have been ordered to investigate traffic violations instead of other more serious crimes, as "Project Alcatraz" has been launched. Police now fear even more crime.

Swedish police are becoming less able to solve crimes, which is becoming an embarrassment for the national police chief, Dan Eliasson, who apparently now fears for his job.

There is growing internal criticism against the police management, which is believed to engage in a "pinnjakt" to keep Eliasson as the national police chief, writes DN.

The National Police in Stockholm, this week launched "Project Alcatraz," which goal is to increase the percentage of solved crimes. Critics, however, argue that the project is just a "pinnjakt" that encourages officers to focus on the simple crimes like drugs, fraud and driving offenses, in order to improve the statistics.

- The sole purpose is to deliver positive figures, so that the Chief of Police Dan Eliasson doesn't lose his job, says an experienced investigator to DN.

The investigator has been ordered that from now on to investigate traffic violations instead of more serious crime.

According to police officers who have talked to DN, many serious crimes are now put aside, and only murder investigations remain unaffected.

A "pinnjakt," was described to Aftonbladet by Sofia, who works as a policewoman in Stockholm. She says that planned interventions are often cancelled in favor of a "pinnjakt."

- In my area, we have such great problems with pickpocketing. It is also what the public often wants us to work on and stop. But we can not work on that, because the National Police Agency's goals are to be met. It is extremely frustrating, she said.

To reach these goals, police officers are also encouraged to "be creative". Thirty cannabis plants seized, may for example be entered as thirty cases of drug offenses.

Last year there were reported 170,359 violent crimes in Sweden, an increase of 4.4 percent compared with the year before.

At the same time, the number of violent crimes solved by the police and reported to prosecutors was 19,052 last year, a decrease of 6.3 percent compared to 2015.

For all offenses, the number of crimes reported to prosecution, was reduced by as much as ten percent. That is a negative trend that police desperately want to reverse.

But police now fear that the "pinnjakt," ordered by the head of police and the police management, will instead lead to increased crime, as they do not get the resources to follow up on reconnaissance and investigation of criminal groups suspected of planning (more) crimes.

That Dan Eliasson never was a cop, yet he was put in charge of the whole thing, increasingly shows.

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